BusinessNZ says the Government's decision to ban new petroleum and gas exploration will have significant implications for New Zealand business.

BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope highlighted a number of issues facing New Zealand businesses, including rising costs, world market competitiveness and viability of investing.

"Many businesses will be affected by this ban, particularly those using gas. It will likely mean higher gas prices because of the restriction in supply, raising costs for enterprises that use gas for their operations," Hope said.

Read more: Ardern bans new offshore oil and gas exploration in NZ


Some exporters might find their products less competitive in world markets, he said.

"For the longer term, this decision may raise doubts among investors as to the viability of investing in New Zealand business. If a multi-billion dollar energy industry can be banned, what other industries might face the same fate?

"Confidence among both overseas and domestic investors may be the longer term casualty of today's decision."

Earlier today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on future offshore oil and gas exploration in New Zealand, with the only exploration likely to be contemplated being that of on-shore exploration, limited to energy-rich Taranaki.

"We're protecting industry and protecting future generations from climate change," Ardern said.

"This is a responsible step, which provides certainty for businesses and communities that rely on fossil fuels."

Hope said he was concerned that the ban imposed by the Government came without consultation within the industry.

The Government's decision to continue to recognise existing permits was important, as doing otherwise would have had a potentially devastating effect on investment into New Zealand, he said.

"It will be important to see what Government commitment is being made to affected businesses, and how quickly other high value businesses can be developed to fill the void."

Energy Minister Megan Woods said more than 30 existing permits, 22 for offshore oil and gas exploration, will be unaffected by today's announcement.